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Ricin-A-Roni

Oh man, this doesn’t sound good.

Two female students from Moore-Hill dormitory were still being treated late Friday for Ricin exposure after coming into contact with the toxin Thursday afternoon, law enforcement and UT officials said.

Students began evacuating the dorm shortly after 11 p.m. when University Residence Hall resident assistants began knocking door-to-door evacuating residents.

According to authorities, no other students are exhibiting symptoms of exposure to Ricin, a protein-inhibitor that can lead to death or serious injury, which has been used as a biological warfare agent. Authorities would not release the names of the girls involved.

“There is no threat coming from this,” said Theresa Spalding, associate director of Student Health Services. “The authorities do not believe there is any type of terroristic plot against the University of Texas.”

Moore-Hill dormitory is now a crime scene and a criminal investigation is under way, said Dr. Adolfo Valadez, medical director of the Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department.

The toxin was first discovered around 2:30 p.m. Thursday when one of the students who received treatment discovered a white powder after opening a roll of quarters from a non-local bank to do laundry on the first floor, Spalding said. The quarters had been in her dorm room on the second floor for several months, Spalding said. The powder fell out on the student’s hands, which she washed immediately before reporting the incident to the UT Police Department, Spalding said.

Ricin is bad, bad stuff.

Posted by Lee on 02/25/06 at 11:22 AM in Etcetera • Permalink

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